Congregational Humanism

My posts generally revolve around my own arguments that I’ve developed for spiritually  without belief in a spiritual realm; I’ve done little justice to the fact that this conversation is happening throughout many non-believing communities.

A nice example is this piece by Jennifer Kalmanson of the American Humanist Association on Congregational Humanism.


If I can bring an end to this argument I will be happy

It’s probably a lofty goal.

The always wonderful Jesus & Mo points out two of my tenets far better than I can, 1) that believers have faith because they’ve had emotions, and not the other way round, 2) atheists are accused of not being capable of these emotions.

On the Same Page: Camel with Hammers

I’ve recently discovered Dan Fincke’s Camels with Hammers blog, which is very much on the same page as me. Here’s a lovely exchange about how atheists can be religious without compromising their materialism and how different people react to this. As a response to a personal plea it covers things from a more personal angle than I often do, and even the things I do discuss are put in better words than I can manage.

– The Spiritual Materialist

Spiritual Materialism Around the Web: Sigfried Gold & Jules Evans

I worry my blog sometimes makes me sound like I’m more original than I am, fighting a lonely crusade. I don’t believe this for a minute, others have thought similar things for a long time. I intend this to be a regular segment (let me know if you’ve suggestion for a punchier title) here’s what others have been saying on spiritual materialism, or close approximations.

The Washington Post has an article on Sigfried Gold, an atheist who prays for the placebo effect and the rise of atheist spirituality in my native Britain! It’s not clear how Gold came to start praying, whether he read about research on it or came to it through subjective exploration.

Jules Evans, author of the splendid and highly recommended Philosophy for Life, has written about the study of subjective states associated with religious practice throughout history, with special mention to my favourite historical psychologist, William James.

I plan a look at similar ideas that thinkers have had in the past in a future post.

– The Spiritual Materialist